Tibetan Writer Under Surveillance Over Contacts Outside of Tibet

Police warn Pema Tso over contacts with sources outside Tibet.
Tibetan Writer Under Surveillance Over Contacts Outside of Tibet Tibetan writer Pema Tso is shown in an undated photo.
Photo from Tibet

UPDATED at 8:00 P.M. EDT on 2021-07-20

Chinese authorities are closely watching a Tibetan writer after they discovered she had contact with people outside Tibet, a source in Tibet told RFA.

Pema Tso, author of numerous articles and poems published in Tibetan magazines, has been teaching Tibetan language in Rebkong (Tongren in Chinese) for the past 30 years.

Due to constant police surveillance, she has been unable to meet other people or have a normal life, the source, who requested anonymity for security reasons, told RFA’s Tibetan Service.

“Since 2020, Chinese authorities started restraining Pema Tso, saying that she had contact with people outside Tibet,” the source said.

In addition to surveilling Pema Tso, authorities warned her about her contacts several times, according to the source.

“She was… accused of owning sensitive political documents and books. She is currently barred from attending any schools or lectures,” the source said.

Pema Tso was born in the 1960s in Rebkong, the capital of the Huangnan Tibetan Autonomous Prefecture in Qinghai. She graduated from Qinghai Public University in 1987 as a Tibetan language major. She has won many literary awards for her writings.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated that Pema Tso had has contacts with another female Tibetan writer, Tsering Woeser, based in Beijing. This story has been corrected to remove the reported contact.

Reported by Sangyal Kunchok for RFA’s Tibetan Service. Translated by Tenzin Dickyi. Written in English by Eugene Whong.

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